Justice League brings together a variety of Metahumans in order to save the world from an otherworldly threat.
After the death of Superman (Henry Cavill), Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck) sees the rise of crime and violence. Knowing that something big and bad is coming, he sets out to enlist the help of other super-humans, such as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince (Gal Gardot), The Flash/Barry Allen (Ezra Miller), Aquaman/Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) and Cyborg/Victor Stone (Ray Fisher). However, without Superman, they may not stand a chance against Steppenwolf and his drive to reunite the “mother” boxes, especially since it took the entire universe including the old gods to come together to imprison Steppenwolf and separate the boxes.
Following the flop of Batman vs Superman and the smash of Wonder Woman, Justice League brings together, critics were hoping for a movie more like Wonder Woman and were excited about Joss Whedon’s (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) role, taking over for Zach Snyder after his recent loss. Yet, the movie remains Zach’s vision, although viewers can see the influence of Joss in the snarky humor and “buddy” moments.
Sadly, while the movie has many great moments, it falls short of the Marvel superhero movie standard. The women’s outfits are skimpier and Wonder Woman’s assets are shown off in almost every scene. I couldn’t understand how she kept the long cascading curls out of her face. But there is also eye candy for the ladies—Jason Momoa is almost always shirtless with tight pants. (Look for his own movie coming in the future)
However, The Flash steals the movie with his humor and blunt honesty. Whether it’s his excitement about meeting and working with Batman or his short attention span comments, each time he’s on the screen, people take notice. His exuberance reminds me of the recent Spiderman: Homecoming movie.
Cyborg was very interesting and has a lot to explore, the character of Batman seems so tired. Is it Ben Affleck or the fact that he’s just a rich man with a grudge (unlike Tony Stark who is rich and sassy)? Maybe in the next movie, they can explore Batman being invisible, so that we can see more of the characters who thrill.
DC is getting wise with two after credit extra scenes, one funny and one hint for the future. They are also using more Easter Eggs in the movie such as a cameo by Marc McClure who played Jimmy in the original Superman movies.
All in all, fans of the series will enjoy the movie. At least it gives me hope that DC might get it right, someday.
The holidays are all about family but blended families face their own dynamics around the holidays. Daddy’s Home Two is a silly, laugh out loud comedy where family is key to all the laughs. This movie is a fun one to see during the holidays but only time will tell if it becomes a classic like Home Alone or Christmas Vacation.
In the sequel to Daddy’s Home, Brad (played by Will Farrell) and Dusty (played by Marc Wahlberg) are co-parenting after a divorce and remarriage. But like in many blended families, the dynamics between the two men (and their wives) are stressed by the holidays. After their daughter tells the whole school that she hates Christmas because of going back and forth between the two houses, the men decide to have one big family Christmas. Throw in two grandpas (John Lithgow and Mel Gibson) and you have a holiday to remember.
Daddy’s Home Two hits upon every type of family conflict. We have divorce, step-parenting, raising children, abandonment, bad influences, anxiety, doubt… the list goes on and on. There’s something which will connect with every viewer. A few times it hits a little too close to home for me as a blended family. I once likened the holidays to planning a military campaign and Daddy’s Home Two shows just how challenging it is, especially since each person in the dynamic has different views on raising children.
Will Farrell has become a slapstick actor along the line of Jerry Lewis. His over the top antics are only a few of the laugh out loud moments. Mel Gibson does a wonderful job as macho, ladies’ man and astronaut Kurt Mayron. He’s here for Christmas to stir up trouble since he has a chip the size of California on his shoulder due to his own lack of parenting skills. Mel is funny and buff. It’s nice to see him get back to his comedic roots. Mark Wahlberg does a nice job as Dusty. He’s more often than not the straight man to Farrell’s antics. John Lithgow plays Farrell’s father who is hiding a secret. Lithgow’s character is whiny and sad.
The children share in the laugh out loud moments as they search for the way to kiss a girl for the first time and get drunk. And while the wives don’t have as much of a role in this movie, Dusty’s wife is an author who writes in a little notebook all day. She’s knockout gorgeous and intimidates Dusty’s ex-wife who thinks she is writing about her.
The entire movie takes place in the two weeks before Christmas and leads up to the climax of being stuck together in a snowstorm at a movie theater. Coincidental, you bet but still a perfect place for the final confrontation.
All in all, an enjoyable movie for the family (just not young children). A little over the top with the challenges of parenting and blended families. But a nice holiday movie to maybe catch together over the long holiday vacation. If you wait for it to be on DVD, you will still enjoy it.
By far the most humorous of the Thor franchise, Thor: Ragnarok keeps you laughing.
After setting out to deal with the visions he’s been having, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returns to Asgard to find that his brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is alive and has been pretending to be their father, Odin. Thor and Loki set out to find Odin (Anthony Hopkins) but end up learning more about their family than they knew…they have an older sister-Hela (Cate Blanchett) who upon the death of Odin will be released from her prison.
Both Thor and Loki end up on Sakaar, a planet run by the Grandmaster (played by Jeff Goldblum) after Hela battles them in the Bifrost. Loki lands on his feet as a friend to the Grandmaster while Thor becomes the next challenger in a battle to the death against the champion—The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). With the help from some new friends, Thor must return to Asgard to save the planet and its people from Hela before she destroys everyone and then sets out to conquer other planets.
This installment of the Thor movies is by far the most humorous. Going mostly without a dialogue script, the actors were encouraged to improvise as the director Taika Waititi wanted to showcase Chris Hemsworth’s comedic talents. But it’s some of the other characters which steal the show! Korg, a sentient rock being has the soul of a gentle giant even while appearing to be dangerous. Voiced by Taika Waititi, Korg’s lines are deadpan serious but come off hilarious. As well, the Grandmaster is both vicious and goofy. One minute killing his cousin and then “screaming like a girl” that the goo is touching him. But it’s the buddy moments between The Hulk and Thor which bring to mind classic buddy movies like Starsky and Hutch or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Karl Urban is almost unrecognizable as Skurge, a man whose only ambition is to stay alive. With cameos by Luke Hemsworth, Matt Damon and Sam Neill as well as Benedict Cumberbatch and Stan Lee, you can’t blink or you’ll miss something important. The TWO after credit scenes will keep you in your seat and set up the story for Thor and his part in the Infinity War movie coming next year.
All in all, a laugh out loud movie with an incredible musical score to keep you engaged throughout the movie (and while it’s music is one for fans of my age, the music keeps the story moving) and one I’ll see again and again, even if only to capture those moments I missed the first time through. :)
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